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Nikon D80 Vs. Canon 30D

by Marjorie A. Burke
  • Overview

    The Nikon D80 and the Canon 30D are digital single-lens reflex cameras, designed specifically with advanced amateurs and intermediate photographers in mind. The two models are similar in appearance and function and, as a result, have several features in common.
  • Size Comparisons

    The D80's dimensions are 5.2 by 4.1 by 3.0 inches, so it is slightly more compact than the 30D, which is 5.6 by 4.2 by 2.9 inches. The D80 weighs less, at 1.3 pounds, than the 1.6-pound 30D. Both models have a 2.5-inch LCD screen with 230,000 pixels TFT---the clearest resolution technology available.
 
  • Resolution

    A camera's resolution, measured in megapixels, determines its ability to capture image details. The D80 is a 10.2 megapixel camera; the 30D is an 8.2 megapixel. Because of their different resolution capabilities, their largest and smallest image sizes also differ: The largest-size image of the Nikon D80 is 3872 x 2592 pixels; its smallest is about 1936 by 1296 pixels. The 30D's largest image is 3504 by 2336 and its smallest is 1728 by 1152. Depending on how you plan to use your images, bigger isn't necessarily better: If you want to capture the maximum number of photos between downloads, smaller is better. If you intend to enlarge and crop your photos, larger images are better.
  • Additional Similarities

    Both models have built-in flash. Both are ergonomically designed to be comfortable to hold and intuitive to use. Both are "continuous" shooters: They can handle three frames per second; the 30D can also be set to a high-speed 5 fps.
  • Differences

    Unlike the Nikon D80, there is no vertical grip option with the Canon 30D. (A vertical grip is an extra battery pack that attaches to the camera body.) The Canon connects directly to Canon's popular Selphy compact photo printer; a computer isn't required for high-quality prints. The Nikon model has a plastic body; the Canon's is magnesium-clad for added durability.
  • Cost

    When shopping for a specific camera model, be sure to compare apples to apples. The price of a camera depends on what is included with the purchase; for example, body only, lenses, a carrying case, remote control and/or USB cables. It also depends on where you buy it. A new Nikon D80 ranges from about $1,000 up to about $1,500; a new Canon 30D ranges from $1,100 to $2,000.

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